Flowers

Photo collection of Bee Plant flowers

Zachary Huang

I. This is this year’s (2016) flower report,  updated at 1-2 week intervals. [2015 was here flowering status]. A list of common honey plants in Michigan are here.

July 9, buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis, Rubiaceae) just started blooming. There is a large patch near Cornell and Hatch in Okemos (it likes swamp or wetlands). Being an excellent honey plant, both honey bees and bumble bees are feasting on the beautiful flowers. I expect the bloom to last 2-3 weeks.

July 5, the golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata, Sapindaceae) is blooming at MSU campus. There are 4-5 in front of Natural Science, but my photos were taken near Bogue and Shaw intersection.  Silver leafed bassword (Tillia tomentosa, Tilliaceae) are blooming on the same day. There are 6 trees in the MSU Horticulture Demonstration Garden.

July 3, I finally got some nice photos of honey bees foraging on the leaves of catalpa!

June 22, common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca, Asclepiadaceae) starts to bloom. This is the host plant for the iconic monarch bufferflies but honey bees will forage on them also. Smells nice!

June 18, Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina, Anacardiaceae) started blooming and many honey bees foraging on them. I think the flowers I saw were all females, the species is diecious (male and female flowers on different trees). It seems to provide both nectar and pollen. Poison ivy was also blooming and I waited for 5-10 min each time I go there and saw honey bees, which is good news! I certainly do not want to come into contact with its pollen!

June 16, basswood (Tillia americana, Tilliaceae) is blooming! I noticed that different trees will bloom at very different times. This year we have harvested about 700 lbs of honey so far and they tasted like basswood (extracted July 7th-ish).

June 10th, I saw a tall catalpa tree has flowers already. Not sure how long it has been blooming. Some say it is an important honey plant. Leaves also have extra-floral nectaries but I have to yet find honey bees foraging on them.

June 9th, privet has been blooming for a while, saw many bees on it. Japanese lilac (very late blooming compared to regular lilac) should be blooming now (i took some photos on June 5th, they were just starting) — bees love it too. They smell wonderful.

May 27, black locusts starting to bloom. One of the major honey plants in Michigan and produces very light honey.

May 26, I heard wisteria were blooming at the MSU Hort garden. I have seen honey bees foraging on this flower, but perhaps not important as a honey plant.

May 24, Autumn olive is about 1-2 days before full bloom, i did not see bees on it (perhaps too early for flowers). Bees love it. It produces a lot of dark honey but the plant itself is invasive.  Seeds spread by birds eating the fruits. Fruits are edible and high in antioxidants.

May 16, Lily of the valley is blooming in my back yard. I have not seen bees foraging on this plant (yet). A species of columbine also started blooming, I saw many bees foraging on this flower 2 years back at NC, but did not bring my big camera. My UV camera had a manual focusing lens and it was impossible to catch them foraging on this type flowers (less than 5 seconds per flower). Tulips are almost done.

May 11.  Red buds are in full bloom, i saw many bees foraging on an Asian species, but have seen ONLY bumble bees here. Dogwood, viburnum are also in bloom — I have yet to see honey bees on the large, white-flowered dogwood. . Apples in full bloom (they are a bit behind crab-apples?).  Dandelions have been for a long time.

May 7. Jacob’s ladder blooming in my backyard. Honey bees forage on this flower (again I need to dig out my old photos!). Red bleeding hearts also started. I have seen bees foraging on the white variety in China. My Asian pears have been blooming for a while. Lunaria (money plant, silver dollar) also blooming in my back yard. Have not see bees on it. Forgetting me not also blooming. Have a photo of one bee foraging on it, in Australia. flowers seems to be larger there. Perhaps a different species.

May 6. Red bud and dogwood are blooming.

April 26. Quince blooming and Oregon grape, seen bees foraging on both. but a bit too cold this year.

April 24. Dandelion flowers everywhere!

April 18. Japanese cherry flowers are blooming in the campus.

April 17. Red maple is blooming, I saw some bees (a few looked like honey bees!).   Crocuses are basically done. Pussy willows are in peak bloom, lots of honeybees and native bees.

April 15, Beal botanical gardens: Schilla, a type of aster are blooming.

March 27, Schilla (Siberian Squill), flowers with dark blue pollen was blooming, with bees foraging on them. Lantern rose was blooming also.

March 12, Winter aconite, Adonis, Birch, Christmas rose, skunk cabbage were blooming,  my 2014’s photos of bees visiting them are here.)

II. Here are links to my old posts about various flowers (approximately by their flowing time). I will slowly populate this page with bee plants (nectar or pollen) as time goes by.

Spring

  1. Winter-aconite, Eranthis
  2. Eastern skunk cabbage
  3. Crocus
  4. Maple flowers
  5. Japanese cherry blossoms part 1, part 2.
  6. Peach flowers
  7. Grape hyacinth (photos only)
  8. Magnolia
  9. Honeysuckle
  10. Tulip
  11. Redbud
  12. Lilac
  13. Autumn olive
  14. Peonies
  15. Iiris
  16. Smokey tree (Cotinus), photos only
  17. Sumac

Summer

  1. Tulip poplar
  2. Bees, on peas
  3. Goji berry
  4. Kentucky yellow wood and Kentucky coffee tree
  5. Corn (photos only)
  6. Beebee tree

Fall

  1. Goldenrod (and a tagged bee!)
  2. Misty flower (Eupatorium coelestinum), and a tagged bee foraging!
  3. Ragweed (photos only)
  4. Butter and eggs (Linaria)
  5. English Ivy

III. Flowers under ultraviolet light as a “formal publication” for references on ultravioletphotography.com:

  1. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Disocactus ackermannii (Haw.) Barthlott (Cactaceae) Orchid Cactus. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  2. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Hoya carnosa Thunb (Apocynaceae) Wax Plant. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  3. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Lonicera japonica Thunb (Caprifoliaceae) Japanese Honeysuckle. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  4. Huang, Z.Y. (2014) Penstemon digitalis Nutt. ex Sims (Plantaginaceae) Foxglove Beardtongue. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet and visible light.
  5. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Luffa aegyptiaca Mill. (Cucurbitaceae) Luffa. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  6. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Helianthus maximiliani Schrad. (Asteraceae) Maximilian Sunflower. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  7. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Cucurbita pepo L. (Cucurbitataceae) Pumpkin. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  8. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Helianthus tuberosus L.(Asteraceae) Jerusalem Artichoke. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  9. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Cucumis sativus L. (Cucurbitaceae) Cucumber. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.
  10. Huang, Z.Y. (2015) Solanum tuberosum L. (Solanaceae) Potato. Flowers photographed in ultraviolet, visible light and simulated insect vision.

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